Yellowtail Shootout 2021: It Feels Good To Be Back!!
First and foremost – a huge THANK YOU to everyone who came out and fished this year’s 14th Annual Yellowtail Shootout! You could genuinely feel the stoke throughout the weekend. I’m sure there will be more to come on the epic catches, winners, prizes, and all details of the event in the near future. Hint hint. Wink wink.
So, how did Team PaddyWhompus do? Well, to quote one of our veteran team members Jerry Walker “We need some yellow spray paint before we weigh these Yellowtail Tuna!”. In other words, no Yellowtail for us. But truth be told we were purely out there for fun anyway. To re-unite with some good buddies that have fished previous YTSOs together for a few years now. Our pre-game plan: run on the reports of Bluefin very close to home while also hunting for some paddy (to stay true to the team name) Yellowtails.
The blue part of the plan came together beautifully. The yellow part, not so much.
After creating our own “shotgun start” and quickly punching through some leftover lumpy seas, we arrived to some signal of fish even closer to home than anticipated. Working birds tipped us off to what led to chasing foam spot after foam spot of school grade (30-60 lbs.) tuna. We tried to run and gun on the first couple of said boils, resulting in one taker on the Yo-Zuri Mag Popper.
But what we found as the better option was to slide into the fish upswell and setup long soak flyline bait drifts. We ended up with 8 fun sized 25-55 pound Bluefin tuna. 25-30 lbs. fluorocarbon leaders + 2/0 ringed circle hooks + a fiery sardine was the hot ticket on the long soaks.
Steady action on every stop, being less than 25 miles from the slip, and my face still hurting from the perma smiles that comes along with this good timing crew – days like these are never taken for granted. What a blast and despite not finding that kelp full of yellows or larger bluefin, it’s hard to ask for much better! Can’t wait for the next.